Pediatric Atopic Eczema: The Impact of an Educational Intervention


Address correspondence to Marianne Grillo, Dermatology Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Patient education has been regarded as having a key role in the self-management of atopic eczema. However, the relationship between the educational interventions and clinical outcomes including severity of eczema, quality of life, and family impact has not been rigorously examined. The purpose of this longitudinal randomized controlled study was to evaluate the impact of an intensive education program with a focus on dermatology and immunology designed for parents and children diagnosed with atopic eczema. The intention of this study was not to change treatment regimes prescribed by the patient's physician. The Scoring Atopic Dermatitis rating system was used for assessment of disease impact, and the impact on quality of life was quantified by using the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index, Infants’ Dermatology Quality of Life Index, and Dermatitis Family Impact. A total of 61 pediatric patients (0–16 years) diagnosed with atopic eczema from the metropolitan area of Adelaide were randomized to either the control or intervention group. Results of the study showed that the intervention group had a significant improvement in the scoring atopic dermatitis measure when compared to the control group at week 4 and week 12. Quality of life measures did not significantly improve with decreased severity of eczema except in the group of children aged 5–16 years which, despite small numbers, showed a significant improvement in quality of life scores. These findings suggest that education provides an important role in decreasing the severity of eczema.